Body of missing Epsom diver Alan Dunster found off coast of Netherlands

Posted: 10/15/2011 in all marine news

Lauren May – 

The body of a well-known diver who went missing off the Dorset coast has been found after two months 400-miles away off the Dutch coast.

Alan Dunster, a 63-year-old retired fireman from Horton Hill in Ewell, was found by a Dutch fishing vessel on September 23.

His body is believed to have been trawled up in a fishing net 12-miles off the coast.

An experienced diver and wreck enthusiast, Mr Dunster had been diving in depths up to 55 metres exploring the wreck of a steam yacht 13 miles south-east of Portland Bill on July 22.

He became separated from his fellow divers and when they surfaced Mr Dunster was nowhere to be seen.

An emergency call was made from their dive boat, Skindeeper, at about 11am and a search was launched by the Portland Coastguard, however it was called off the next day when no sign of him was found.

A spokesperson for the Netherlands Coastguard said today: “A body was found by a Dutch fishing vessel on September 23 at 8.45am, UK time.

“They knew it was a diver because he still had the bottle still on his back.

“The body was taken to the hospital in Haarlem Hospital for investigation and it has since been handed over to the police in the UK.”

A member of the Kingston and Elmbridge Sub Aqua Club for more than 30 years, Mr Dunster was known as Uncle Al and the Wreck Detective by fellow members after his explorations of shipwrecks.

One of the greatest treasures he found diving was a Salvation Army 1917 tuba, part of a cargo on the Steamship Shirala on route from London to Bombay which sank in 1918.

Gerry Hassell, president of the Kingston and Elmbridge Sub Aqua Club, said: “For all concerned we are extremely happy he’s been found as that gives closure for his family.

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